• Mobile macchiatos for Addis

    Busy urbanites don’t always have time to frequent local coffee shops in Addis Ababa. So entrepreneur Bizuayehu Getachew has come up with a creative solution: brew the coffee on the go. Getachew sports a mobile brewing machine on his back, which can mix macchiato powder with hot water to result in the perfect macchiato — […]

  • Gulu: clamouring for city status after war

    From atop the Pearl Afrique Hotel, the changing skyline of Gulu town is visible. The thatched roofs of mud and wattle huts that once dotted the edges of the town are no more.  The mud and wattle has given way to tiled and iron sheet roofs of new buildings that sprout from the rubble where […]

  • Examining Nairobi’s split personality

    Walking through certain parts of Nairobi, one is struck by the formal elements that highlight the city’s conscious march towards becoming a “world-class city.” Images of the formal or “modernity,” such as the development of public commuter rail, shopping malls with mega supermarkets and organic food outlets, and tall, all-glass skyscrapers that house multinational corporations […]

  • Planning for exclusion in Abuja

    Nigeria, a nation deeply scarred by colonialism and years of civil war, took the decision in 1991 to build a new capital city at the country’s centre. Abuja is Africa’s first modernist capital and follows in the tradition of other planned cities across the world, from Brasilia (Brazil), to Washington D.C. (USA) to Chandigarh (India). […]

  • Traders opt for Dar es Salaam port

    Traders in hinterland Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo are on tenterhooks as a possibility of a violent election period in Kenya leaves them with no choice but to abandon the much used Mombasa port to avoid losing their goods in transit, as was the case in 2007. Chaotic post election violence […]

  • A bumpy ride towards claiming credibility

    FREETOWN: Think Africa Press relays the ‘okada’ riders’ joint struggle for their service to be recognised as an accountable, valuable and effective mode of public transport in Sierra Leone’s capital. Read here. BAMENDA: New regulations are being implemented by Bamenda’s City Council to restrict the routes of commercial bike riders to untarred roads. Local news […]

  • Fuel profiteering in Abuja

    They are back in business and every day, they smile to the bank. The pain of motorists, who drive many kilometres round the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in search of fuel, is their gain. In a twist of irony, what the motorists could not get at many of the filling stations in the FCT is […]

  • Is informality being disallowed by government?

    South Africa’s economic policymakers have to confront the challenge of creating jobs to absorb the unemployed. The 2011 census reveals an unemployment rate of 40%, with over 8.7 million South Africans registered as unemployed. One of the main strategies to address this challenge is focused on stimulating labour absorption by enhancing the education and skills […]

  • High-rise challenges to constructing a city’s identity

    The Quality of Life 2011 survey, conducted biannually by the Gauteng City-Region Observatory (GCRO), was presented at University of the Witwatersrand on 23 July. The survey found overall quality of life increased slightly despite global economic recession, with government delivery as driver. But core challenges appeared to be of the intangible type that are less […]

  • Food for thought: reforming governance through food

    From roadside “Mama Put” canteens and street vendors to sprawling supermarkets and vast catering networks, a booming food culture in Lagos is transforming the city’s landscape and culture with an industrial intensity nearly unmatched by any other commercial venture in the local economy. Much of this can be attributed to the stable growth of Nigeria’s […]